Monday, February 18, 2008

Small Steps Yield Big Gains

tidbits that tantalizeHealth - One Step at a Time...

Ah, politics... Yes, it's inescapable. At least if you live in the United States. So, which side are you on? The "throw the bums out" side - or, the "they might be bums, but they're my bums" side? Either way, with congressional approval hovering around 25%, there seems to be widespread agreement that the government is filled with bums.


Is it possible, even in the midst of significant failings, that the U.S. government actually has some good things going on? Of course. That's the essential nature of things. Even when beset by failures, shortcomings, and excesses, the government will now and then surprise us with a terrific little program.

Such a program is Smallstep. The website, set up by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), is a fabulous, and free, resource. The concept is centered on taking small steps to achieve a healthy lifestyle. HHS recognized that people often fail when attempting to make major lifestyle changes. So, they encourage us to take healthy living one simple step at a time.

For example, Health Tip of the Day #33 is, "More carrots, less cake." Now, no one said easy - the word was simple. Tip #121 is, "Eat before grocery shopping." Excellent. That way you'll shop with your head instead of your hunger. Tip #3: "Do sit-ups in front of the TV." There you go - seems like a reasonable compromise. A little pain with a bit of entertainment thrown in and, by the first commercial, you're already on the road to healthy living.

The site is a great resource, filled with facts sheets on diet and exercise, links to local resources, tools to help you set goals and track activity, and additional reading links. And, it's all free.

So, go ahead and gripe about the bums. But, remember Tip #17b: "Walk at a brisk pace while you gripe."

To learn more, visit the HHS website at


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